Trinseo to slash quarterly dividend by 56%

Trinseo to slash quarterly dividend by 56%

Trinseo, a specialty material solutions provider, today announced that its Board of Directors authorized a quarterly dividend of USD0.14 per share, which represents a 56% reduction from the current quarterly dividend of USD0.32 per share, said the company.

“We remain committed to creating long-term value for our shareholders while maintaining a strong financial position. We believe taking the prudent decision to reduce the dividend will preserve liquidity and enable us to continue to invest in growth and sustainability projects through these challenging macroeconomic conditions,” said Frank Bozich, Trinseo’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

The dividend will be a cash distribution payable on April 20, 2023, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on April 6, 2023.

We remind, Trinseo reported a Q4 net loss of $365.3m largely because of a pre-tax, non-cash goodwill impairment charge of USD297m related to its PMMA business and Aristech Surfaces reporting units. The company saw Q4 sales fall by almost 25% compared with the same quarter a year go while costs fell at a slower pace. The following table shows the company's Q4 financial performance. Figures are in millions of dollars.

Arkema Q4 adjusted net income falls 58.5%

Arkema Q4 adjusted net income falls 58.5%

Arkema's adjusted net income fell by 58.5% year on year in the fourth quarter of 2022, with sales volumes dropping on weak demand in China as well as a slowdown and destocking in Europe, said the company.

Arkema aims to achieve in 2023 an EBITDA of around EUR1.5bn to EUR1.6bn. "At the beginning of the year, the macroeconomic context is marked by a lack of visibility and ongoing weak demand, in the continuity of fourth-quarter 2022," the company said.

"A progressive improvement is expected from the spring and should gather momentum in the second part of the year," it added.

Following Arkema’s Board of Directors’ meeting, held on 22 February 2023 to approve the Group’s consolidated financial statements for 2022, Chairman and CEO Thierry Le Henaff said:

“Arkema achieved an excellent year in 2022 in many respects, first of all in terms of its financial performance, with EBITDA of over EUR2 billion, reflecting the efforts of all our employees, whom I would like to thank for their commitment in a demanding environment. We also finalized a high-quality acquisition, with Ashland’s adhesives, and entered the start-up phase at our production site in Singapore for polyamide 11 and its monomer, thus strengthening the Group’s profile, resolutely focused on innovative materials. It is also a great source of pride for the teams to be recognized by rating agencies as one of the leaders in our industry in terms of CSR.

2023 has begun in an economic context of weak demand, which requires us to be strict in managing our costs and working capital, while preparing for an improvement of the environment during the course of the second quarter. We have full confidence in the long-term prospects offered by our new developments focused on decarbonization and sustainable development, and we will continue to invest in these opportunities. We will leverage our cutting-edge innovation to continue to support our customers in their quest for sustainable performance.”

We remind, Arkema announces the doubling of its polyester resins capacity in its Navi Mumbai facility in India, reinforcing the Group’s leadership position in the global powder coatings market and its commitment to developing very low-VOC technologies. Arkema invested in the Navi Mumbai facility in early 2019 to expand geographic coverage of its high performance, more sustainable, low-VOC products, and to support its customers in their development. The site includes a modern manufacturing unit and a dedicated laboratory to provide application development and technical support in the region.

Celanese agrees to extension with Mitsui

Celanese agrees to extension with Mitsui

Celanese Corporation, a global chemical and specialty materials company, announced today two joint venture (JV) actions with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. to extend their longstanding strategic partnership, said the company.

Celanese announced the signing of a term sheet to form a Food Ingredients JV with Mitsui, subject to customary approvals. Through this transaction, Celanese will contribute its Food Ingredients business, inclusive of assets, technology, and employees, to form a standalone Food Ingredients JV. Celanese will retain a 30 percent ownership stake in the JV and Mitsui will acquire a 70 percent ownership stake.

Celanese Food Ingredients is a leading producer of acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) sweetener as well as sorbic acid and potassium sorbate preservatives. Celanese is the inventor and only Western-producer of Sunett® Ace-K which is a zero-calorie, high-intensity sweetener. On a pro-forma basis, the Food Ingredients business generated approximately USD170 million in 2022 net sales and USD45 to USD50 million in 2022 EBITDA. The Food Ingredients JV will combine the leading technology, product portfolio, and backward integration of Celanese with Mitsui’s long-standing positions in a variety of food supply chains across Asia and other regions. Celanese’s Acetyl Chain business will continue to meet the full acetyls raw material needs of the Food Ingredients JV under a long-term supply agreement.

The parties expect the transaction to close during the third quarter of 2023. Celanese expects to utilize cash proceeds from the JV formation to execute against its existing deleveraging plan. Celanese is advised by BofA Securities as financial advisor and Shearman & Sterling LLP as legal counsel.

We remind, Celanese Corporation, a global specialty materials and chemical company, announced the completion of an ultra-low capital project to repurpose existing manufacturing and infrastructure assets to unlock additional ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) capacity at its Edmonton, Alberta facility, said the company. The expansion supports significant growth in the Acetyl Chain’s downstream vinyls portfolio.

Air Liquide and Sasol sign new contracts

Air Liquide and Sasol sign new contracts

TotalEnergies plans to supply renewable energy to Sasol and Air Liquide at the Secunda chemical site in South Africa, said the company.

The companies signed power purchase agreements for the supply of 260MW capacity of renewable electricity over 20 years, TotalEnergies said in a statement on Thursday.

The French energy and petrochemicals major will develop a 120MW solar plant and a 140MW wind farm in the Western Cape province to supply around 850GWh of green electricity per year to the Sasol’s Secunda site, located 700km further northeast, where Air Liquide operates the world's biggest oxygen production site, it said.

The two projects, expected to be operational in 2025, will provide renewable electricity to decarbonise Sasol and Air Liquide’s production, TotalEnergies said.

We remind, TotalEnergies is joining forces with Portuguese packaging player Intraplas to create commercial products with TotalEnergies renewable polymer – a range of the RE:clic portfolio, which uses renewable sources to lower carbon footprint. TotalEnergies’ biorefinery in La Mede, France, allows direct access to renewable feedstock for its drop-in RE: newable polymer range derived from bio-based products. The company claims these polymers retain virgin-like properties.

Petron Malaysia net profit expands 26%

Petron Malaysia net profit expands 26%

Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd’s (Petron Malaysia) net profit for the financial year 2022 (FY2022) improved 26% to RM300.59 million, said the company.

Revenue increased two-fold to RM18.35 billion, buoyed by growth in volume and elevated oil prices. "For 2022, the company's sales volume grew by 28 per cent to 33.8 million barrels from 26.4 million barrels in 2021,” it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

"Despite increased sales volume and higher refinery utilisation, the highly volatile oil market during the year caused prices to plunge in the second half of 2022,” it added.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2022 (Q4 FY2022) Petron Malaysia posted a net loss of RM21.37 million from a net profit of RM60.53 million in the previous corresponding quarter.

Revenue, however, increased by 44 per cent to RM4.27 billion compared with RM2.96 billion reported in the same quarter of 2021, driven mainly by the elevated oil prices and higher sales volume.

On its current financial year prospects, Petron Malaysia said the group remains focused on mitigating the challenges in the oil industry while pursuing growth through investments like retail network expansion.

We remind, Petronas has signed two Project Development Agreements with ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc. (ExxonMobil) to jointly pursue Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) activation projects in Malaysia.
Under the agreements, both parties will define next steps, including the maturation of technical scopes for the CCS value chain, evaluation of the identified fields for CO2 storage utilisation, development of appropriate commercial framework and establishment of advocacy plan support on regulations and policy development in enabling CCS projects.